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tv   The Dylan Ratigan Show  MSNBC  March 23, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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health care, biden avoid nid direct mention of the anniversary. the president didn't mark it, either, as many say it's a liability for his reelection. on monday they start historic arguments into his constitution constitutionality. it's the hottest ticket in town. only 400 of them and no cameras in court. a surreal challenge when you consider the original mandate was originally a republican idea. conservatives need to be careful what they wish for. mandating that everybody be part of the insurance pool is the only way to achieve universal coverage through private health plans. if there's no mandate, healthy people can opt out or delay buying in until they're sick. insurance can't work that way. premiums skyrocket because only sicker folks retain coverage and the system implodes. this is insurance 101. so if republicans get the short-term political win they want, it's sure to rise to 50 or 60 million and we'll end up on
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the road to medicare for all, precisely the road the gop says it takes but no doubt is unconstitutional. the case is set aside for oral arguments for six hours over three days, the most a court has spent on a case in 45 days. the average case just gets one hour. the crazy thing is there are no cameras or transcripts allowed, even though 3000 people slated to get health care could lose it. why should we see if nine lekd people throw ought a policy change in a generation? we start with mike sachs, and jeffrey rosen, george washington law professor. welcome, gentlemen. mar mike, let me start with you. there are four separate legal issues the state is taking up. >> i'll start with the main event. the first biggest case that's
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coming before is on tuesday, actually. the cases start on monday, but on tuesday there will be two hours dedicated to the constitutionality of the original mandate. the next day there will abe case about an hour and a half over whether if a mandate falls, other provisions have to fall or the whole entire aca has to fall. now, going back to monday, the court will be arguing the preliminary question of whether they even have to reach the question or a technicality based on a statute from the reconstruction era will get on the way and prevent the court from even having to answer the question. finally the sixth hour will be wednesday afternoon and that's a question over whether the medicare expansion in the aca unlawfully coerces the state by tying medicaid into the act. >> jeff rosen, now that people have the lay of the land, and thank you, mike, does this fall into the category of medical
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guru? i've heard people say so much argument is going to be pitched at this one swing justice, is that right? >> this one might not. it's even possible there could be a lopsided vote holding up the bill 7-2, 6-3. three of the conservatives on roberts' court, in addition to kennedy, have embraced a pretty broadview of executive power, just as anthony scalea says he has the power of putting a halt on medical marijuana, so predictions aren't worth much in this very high-profile and unpredictable case. it might be the case that obama can fuel off not just kennedy but one or two or three other conservatives. >> how do you see justice robertson's incentives? is he trying to protect the institutional prestige of the court and will he be looking to assemble a private majority in favor of upholding it? what do you think? >> i think this is a
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possibility. this is the roberts court and this will be his legacy. a sitting legislative achievement has not been struck down in over 75 years. and in that time the new deal society emerged and the current state of government, the regular state, has been firmly put in place. justice roberts and justice ilito came up when the big battle movement was against the war in court, the fundamental rights that came about in the 1960s and '70s. if they were going to uproot all of that like justice clarence thomas wants to do, that would be, like biden said, a big f-ing deal. jay harvey wilkerson wrote an op-ed in the times the other day what i thought was a shot in the bow.
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he said, if courts read the snugs in such a way that it enables them to make congress infectual, the risk should escape no one, making our charter more parochial while other nations flex their muscle. if you read between the lines, jeff, i thought he was trying to send a signal that someone like him who was on the short list of george bush's appointees basically think the law is unconstitutional. >> that was a very strong point, and he pointed that out in his book. he says he find the health care reform misconceived as a policy matter, but it would be just as active for people to strike it down as if it was gay marriage. like you said, he was on the short list, but two other appellate judges in the country have upheld the health care reform, judge sutton and judge larry silverman. both of them had no problem
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dismissing the challenge to the act. the fact that three pillars of legal conservatism have opposed it could weigh heavily on the justices. >> we won't be there to have the natural play by play. what is it like, and why don't they in the 21st century with so much at stake, allow more public access with what is more of a deliberation than anything else that may happen in the years to come? >> it's a shame there are no cameras in the court, although it may dilute my role as supreme court reporter. it would be great to see it at work, and the fact that the courts shut it out because they think there will be lawyers grandstabb grandstanding and justices asking wisecrack questions, well, they already do that and reporters report them. so i don't think it would do an
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injustice to people in the room. i was at the supreme court before i came here to see if a line had begun. there are five people waiting in line. those five people are all paid line waiters where people are probably paying for the hour to wait for 72 hours this will such time on monday morning when they will take their place and get in and be first in line. that's how things work right now, and it wouldn't be unjust if people had a chance to see what was going on across the country without having to pound the pavement for so long. >> when we talk about what the constitution means, for a lapsed lawyer like myself, i came away from law school a hundred years ago with a pretty jaundiced view. at a level like this, there are clear authorities on both sides if one wanted to reach a certain result. am i too jaded in the way i view that, or is there a more serious
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judicial mode of thinking, you think, that will be in play? >> that sounds just right. and you're not a former lawyer, you're a recovering lawyer. in any hard constitutional case, there are strong arguments on both sides. whenever anyone tells you the answer is clear, reach for your wallet so none of these things are easy. the truth is, it's just striking how, when people look at the central argument against the individual mandate and note the fact that the court has upheld so many things that have a much smaller impact on interstate commerce, going back to the new deal period when they allowed the regulation of a farmer growing weed in his backyard for his own personal use because that might lead him to buy less weed in the interstate commerce, it's a huge piece of the economy. again, not predicting anything. there are good arguments on both sides, but if chief justice roberts does pull off a bipartisan opinion, up holding the act by 6-3, 7-2, i think you would have to say he finally achieved his outstanding goal,
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which has alluded him so far, by presiding over a court that does not step over lines. >> i would have to say as a political matter, the idea that obama went this big on health care, even when timothy geithner said to him, your legacy is going to predict another great depression, he said, that's not enough for me. this is what i have to do to improve political society, i hope the court doesn't feel they have to muck that up. thanks for setting the table for everyone watching to be informed viewers as the action begins next week. coming up here on the d.r. show, the ticket harder to get than those supreme court hearings. weerg ta we're talking "the hunger games" debutting this weekend. george dyson our guest coming up. and foreclosures.
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for millions of homeowners, the new american dream might just be to rent. bank of america is rolling out a pilot program that will help 1,000 of the millions who are either behind on their mortgage payments or who own more than the house is worth. here's how it works. qualified applicants would essentially turn their homes over to the bank. the bank in turn would rent their house back to them at the below the market rate. in theory, this allows people to stay in their homes for up to three years and avoid property
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and homeowner taxes and insurance. ari berman, let me start with you. this is a pilot program so it's not like some cure, but it seems like a positive sign to try and show there might be ways banks can, in a voluntary way, i guess, come forward and keep people in their homes for a few years. >> it seems like eye gooid idea. it's the same idea dane baker had in 2007, so you wonder why it's taken so long for the banks to adopt this idea and why the obama administration wasn't pushing it earlier, because the obama administration has been weak on housing, the mortgages haven't been as good as they thought. >> that's the major drag on the economy is what took it so long. it makes economic sense for the homeowner, it makes economic sense for the bank. in nevada, 70% of homes are in
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foreclosure. say you foreclose on a house, what are you going to do with it? it costs a lot to close on a house and resell it, so this makes the most sense for both sides. >> there is a lot of anxiety among people, and they're still losing the house, they're giving the title back to the bank, but at least they're not being disrupted. this is a chance to see if we can ease that transition somehow, yes? >> absolutely. foreclosure is a huge economic problem, but as you're saying, matt, it's a family strain. this allows people who are dealing with the hardship to keep their families in a home and to reduce the transition costs that are associated with any move. everyone knows you have that here for people who can't even afford their own mortgage. so i think it is good. this is a pilot program, and if the obama administration wanted to get serious, i think they would mandate more programs like this in exchange for all the aid they have given the banks. >> that's a good point because
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before we leave this -- we all agree this is a nice little step. it's such a baby step. like you said, guys like dean baker were talking about this five years earlier, so we shouldn't make this such a good pr when 99% of folks aren't even going to be able to avail themselves of this. >> the problem we have in the economy is families are under water, and the thing they're principally under water in is their homes, so we need to do this really robustly if we're getting on the road of economic recovery. >> if the program works, it won't need to be mandated, if it makes economic sense. it will spread in connection with other banks. >> obviously, we'll be watching that. another thing we'll be watching, at least in our family, is "the hunger games" which opened last night at midnight to huge lines. it's expected to break all box office records. we've actually got a little bit of stuff from the trailer. let's give a listen and then
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we'll come back. >> 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. >> certainly whets your appetite. our own ace investigative movie reporter actually saw the movie when, two nights ago? >> i got to go to the movie premier two nights ago. dylan ratigan sends me on tough assignments and the premiers are one of the worst. this is movie is awesome. i haven't read the books, but i totally enjoyed it. it's partly reality tv, it's partly sports, it's partly a classic competition of the battle of wills, and i think for our audience there will be some interesting political subtext. without giving anything away, no
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spoilers, there is a rich city and a bunch of spoiled surrounding areas and who carries the burden of society and how you distract a popolous from its own misery. >> we have a 14-year-old daughter. we read all three hunger games novels about a year ago and kind of consumed them, actually. i've been dying for this movie to come out. >> the thing i like is, speaking of your daughter, what a kick-ass female pro tag mitagan. you get this really complex, interesting female protagonist. >> the panel is going to sit tight. we'll be back in a few, but we want to turn our ongoing 30 million jobs campaign, specifically getting young people from the classroom to the
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workforce, not unemployment. education secretary arnie duncan made a stop in delaware the other day, a small state that two years ago won some grants, $118 million, to be exact, from the obama administration's program. what lessons can be applied to the rest of america? let's go to the governor who just wrapped up with secretary duncan. welcome, governor. good to see you. >> you too, matt. thanks. >> what were you doing with ar knee duncan and how is your race to the top initiatives going so far? >> well, they're going well, and today was essentially an update for secretary duncan, first with some teacher representatives, some school board presidents, some superintendents. that was one meeting. and then another separate meeting with some businesspeople, foundations, as well as some teacher representatives. and this is really difficult work. we're making really good progress, but it's hard. the key thing here is to make sure people understand the
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imperative. there are 3 billion people around the globe looking for work. there are only 1.2 billion jobs available. we are clearly in this global competition for jobs and success will go to those places with great schools. >> talk for a second about, i know you and i share a passion for improving teacher quality and getting a high-caliber person attracted to the profession and retained in the profession when so much is done now to diss teachers and disincentivize it and make it the profession not that attractive. what's your opinion in that regard? >> so much of this is about culture in the school and if teachers feel like their voice is heard. money is important, but so is having an environment in the school where there is really a teamworking together, including the school leader as well as the teachers. one of the most important parts of our race to the top plan is what we call our professionally learning communities where about six teachers gather together several times a month by themselves where they can really
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focus. what's the date about telling them about student performance? how often would they have to intervene with a particular child? the use of data can be pretty powerful, and we're on the cusp of doing great things there. >> let's talk about jobs. you're a former business leader yourself, and i know you've been tried to be proactive in helping delaware take stronger steps back from this very difficult economic climate. what's working so far? what are you finding in terms of the innovations you're bringing as having some impact? >> well, the most important thing we can do is ask our business leaders what it is that they care about, and it's not that long a list. they care a lot about schools and talent. they want reasonable taxes, a great quality of life, really good institutions of higher education, a great work force and a responsive government. so those are the things we focus on every day. part of it is programmatic, but the other part, which is really critical, is attitude. these businesses want to know that they are incredibly valued, incredibly wanted, and in our case in delaware, we have to understand the industries in our state better than any other
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state ever would, and in the businesses in our state have to know they work more to their success than any other state is. just last month, amazon broke ground on a million square feet distribution facility, that's 850 jobs, and between them bank of america, capital one and citigroup were adding 1200 jobs. that's all within the last month. >> it must make a difference when there is someone who has got senior business experience themselves sitting in the governor's area like yourself, mitch daniels on the republican side. does it make a difference when you can relate to folks when they're making their siting decisions? >> i think it makes a difference when i know what questions to ask and we have a pretty good sense what they're looking for. we really have to put ourselves in their shoes to understand what kind of things they're factoring when they're making a decision where to be. my job is real simple. i want businesses, when they're deciding where to invest their next dollar of capital, i want them to choose delaware.
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it can't just be the governor. it has to be a whole team effort, and we have a wonderful bunch of people who work with us, and we have people in our state who understand that the key thing for businesses is to have great schools, and we work together very well. >> that's governor markel pushing the envelope on education and jobs. thank you for coming by and sharing those insights today. >> great to be with you. thanks. straight ahead, two words never before heard on the ben bernankeie show. ben bernanke the hero? next. and my dad moving in. so we went to fidelity. we looked at our family's goals and some ways to help us get there. they helped me fix my economy, the one in my house. now they're managing my investments for me. and with fidelity, getting back on track was easier than i thought. call or come in today to take control of your personal economy.
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our specialist today credits this man, ben bernanke, with saving the economy and master fully guiding us through the most sustained crisis in american history. so why, everyone asks, does everyone hate ben bernanke?
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roger wrote this book, "ben, the big hero." hi, roger. there's a lot of things you talk about with ben bernanke taking attacks from the left and the right. i've always been fascinated with people jumping from their chairs on the conservative side don't credit bernanke at saving the crisis in its darkest hour. what is the suggestion and how does he parody their arguments? >> i think a lot it have is tea party anti-bailout, ben bernanke became the face of bailouts of bear stearns, the t.a.r.p., and government should never be anywhere near the free enterprise system. he's the bad guy. i think there is also sort of an old testament view, a ron paul view, that anything other than
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hard money in your pockets is somehow evil. and ben bernanke, you know, is the guy printing the money, right? by the way, that's in his job description. by law the fed prints the money. that's why dollar bills say federal reserve notes. but to a segment of the republican party, this has become a bad thing. they want to go back to the gold standard when they may not remember we had a depression every ten years. >> before i get our mega panel in with some questions, i want to put up one quote you had in your article. i agree -- everyone failed to appreciate that our sophisticated, hypermodern, highly hedged, derivatives-based financial system, how fragile it really was. this is the system ben bernanke was supervising, so don't we have to fault him pretty toughly for not being aware of the excesses that were building up? >> absolutely, and i do.
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in terms of foreseeing or forecasting the crash, he blew it completely. also in terms of recognizing how the crash and real estate and sub primes would affect the greater economy, he was way off base. he wasn't the guy at the tiller. >> he was at the table. >> he was at the table, and for a couple years as a governor, and then he went over at the very end to be bush's adviser, right, just before he was named fed chairman. but it was greenspan's policy, right, until he took over. but yes, he did fail to foresee it. the point is, for the last five or six years, you know, obama has really defaulted to congress, congress has been dysfunctional, we've had no housing policy. he's been the one adult at the table and has brought us back. he has a lower public opinion rating than congressional
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leaders. i just sort of feel like, whoa, what's going on here? >> no good deed goes unpunished. ari berman? >> roger, what do you make of the critique of people like paul krugman that the fed should have done more, not less, and used tools at their disposal, particularly when it was a really, really bad economy. >> i deal with that a lot. the krugman and ken rogue critique, ben bernanke should have said, i'm going to try to get inflation higher so that would act as a super stimulus. if you remember the '70s, that was pretty painful. and one thing bernanke said to me was that you can really only get inflation that high if people think it's going to last forever, right? otherwise you don't get these union contracts and built-in raises and so on. people think it's going to last forever. it's hard to shut down. i think it's to his credit,
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though, while making these herculoen efforts to get this ball rolling. he hasn't gone back to the '70s because the '70s weren't so great. >> obviously the fed has a dual mandate to keep employment low, and a lot of left/right divide centers on what should his focus be on more, the inflation or the unemployment? what's your sense of reviewing the policies and of speaking with him of kind of where he comes down on that balance of keeping inflation low and keeping unemployment low? >> i think in his heart, he, like most central bankers, wants to keep inflation low. any central banker who leaves with high inflation is sort of a failure -- >> are people born this way? central bankers, who grows up with a passion to keep inflation low? that's my dream. >> i think ben sort of was. he studied this stuff at mit, he was -- milton friedman was his
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hero. but the period -- kristin, your question, he's been fed chair and the greatest depression since the great depression, and not surprisingly, he's had to err on the side of caution, and the mistake they made in the '30s was not to grow the money supply and think the recovery was there too soon. in the context at the time when he's been fed-shared, he's had to devote more of his efforts to growth. >> ari? >> if you look at the history of our monetary policy, the guiding light has always been to insulate it from too much political pressure, as you well know. and along with that, we've seen a lot less media pressure and media attention. i think in the last ten years,
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you know, we have this renewed interest and from the tea party and libertarians as you mentioned, but it's hard to imagine a fed chair being on the cover of a magazine as he is on the cover of the atlantic this month, in previous eras. where the do you come down on this in the big picture. is this the net -- where too much uninformed pressure does not help the average taxpayer. >> well, don't forget that the alan greenspan. so even if the premise of my question is wrong, we'll just continue. >> bernanke is the first one to hold press conferences, to sit down for cover stories, to give lectures like he has starting this week at colleges to kind of fend off the right. >> all i know is never let a faulty premise stop a good story. i think what's interesting is in
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the past when you've seen the public get on the central bankers, if you go back to the william jennings brian era, there wasn't a fed then, but there was monetary policy. if you go back to the '70s, the feds were saying, we want more money, higher farm goods, et cetera, they were angry when the tea party segment of the public, becae you're killing our legacy and so on and the public has been trying for tight money. you would think the public would be happy he was getting us out of a near depression/recession. this is a very curious period. i think no matter which way, though, the pressure is coming from, he's got to sort of insulate himself and go with his gut because -- but that's why
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the central bank is independent, right? >> we'll have to leave it there. i'm ben bernanke. thanks for sharing those with us? all right, mel burn had this great idea that we should do a hung. >>. up next, the underdiagnosed disease plaguing some of the nation's individuals and how you can help. as a chef we are always committed to our suppliers...
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republican billionaire syndrome. this leads victims to believe that the -- this is harold clark simmons. how do we know simmons has gone over the edge? under obama, corporate promise has reached record highs, stocks have doubled, and as we discussed today, obama health reform followed ostensible public design and his capital has fallen to all-time lows. simmons is plainly deluded. this is the brain of a csr victim. doctors believe this occurs in a lobe called the medula.
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the bold action actually saves capitalism from itself. instead they lose all ability to see things as they are, a roundabout communist lurking around every corner. obviously, csr victims don't need our money. sometimes just knowing people care enough to reach out can make all the difference. so send your tweets to at matt miller now. in other words, harold simmons, you're going to be all right. and please, act now. because if you had a billion dollars and a total detachment from reality, this could be you. coming up, the big bang of the digital universe. the true story of the band of geniuses who created our dpu computerized world nearly 100 years ago. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels fights your worst cold symptoms,
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physicist and mathematician. you grew up with einstein at your babysitter, i understand. tell us where this story begins. it really involves the bomb as well as the computer. >> well, yes. although these people did not invent the computer, but in a way they implemented the, you know, numerical digital universe in which we live. it's not so much the hardware itself but the software. >> say more about that. how did this breakthrough idea come? this was originally a vision of alan turing's. tell us about his significance and what kind of man he was. >> yes. in 1935 and 1936, alan turing, who was 23 years old, very much an oddball undergraduate student, he concedes of the idea of a digital computer that can do anything if you sort of give it the right instructions, the right code. and making this real and
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practical was a very difficult technical problem that was worked on by large numbers of people and happened to be -- i focus on one particular group of people who were trying to solve these nuclear problems, and they needed a machine that would do this at very, very high speeds, and they did an amazing job of putting it together very quickly. >> and so was it that the need was that to test the hydrogen bomb, there was no way of actually testing it short of testing it, or you needed a way to simulate it? is that what drove the need for computers in that era? >> yes, it's what drove the need for doing a huge number of calculations very fast. still, some of these calculations might take weeks, but they were trying to answer the question of whether using a standard nuclear bomb you could set off a they remembrmonuclear
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explosion. it was difficult and took more power than anything else and needed a new machine to do it. >> i think you write there is almost a kind of bargain with the devil because the group of folks who were passionate about trying to develop this early computing weren't necessarily passionate about musical rivalry. >> you had to come off with a computer that could do this. is that right? explain how this works. >> some of the people were in a way, determined to build this horrible women. they wanted to make sure we would do it first. and some were just scientists who really had things they wanted to do with this fantastic
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tool. and we have this wonderful that we could do world-revolutionize the computers and. >> what kind of a man was he and what was his role? >> john von neumann was a hungarian mathematician who came to america in 1930 at 26 years old to teach mathematics, and very quickly as world war ii became drawn into the picture, he got drawn into it on the world's side. it's a benefit to us, and -- so there were actually a whole bunch of the early krr or
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railroad e on. >> yes. a and. it was a real war, so lfs. ed the funding came from a funding organization called atf. there were things moving back and forth. >> it's impossible to compress all the history, but if you take us from those early days to today, what had been the most significant changes? i know you talked about digital organize nimz in the book. how do we get from that early phase to kind of the. >> there has been no change. what we do in our when this.
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>> the memory of this particular machine i took us all on was 5 kill bi kilobytes. that's a very small amount but yet it was enough to do all this important work. >> just about a minute left. where is all of this going? there are futurists like ray kurtwild in a way that houston chips. we have ways to prevent disease, ways to plug in without having to go to google because of today's knowledge, hitting some
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nm. >> yeah, the short answer to that is i am not afraid of many of the things that ray kur kurtzbilkurtzbi kurtzwiler is afraid of, and i'm probably afraid of things he has never even heard of. >> just briefly, you're afraid of what? >> well, ray curling, and i'm afraid of that. it doesn't leave room for children. . the in if i nit pro lodged. i'm not saying they say dad did a good thing. >> again, the book is sdmuld.
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president obama today on trayvon. if i had a son, he would look like trayvon. but before we go, capehart's commentary on the sad truth about that situation. [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now.
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time now for the daily rant are jonathan capehart. jonathan, the floor is yours. >> trayvon martin was shot by a gunman on february 26. the ensuing outrage 20 days
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later has swept the nation. in a series of interviews on msnbc the past few days, city manager bonapart has exhibited all the compassion of a stone. >> has anything changed on that? >> no, nothing has changed at this point. >> at this point. is anything about to change? are you considering a suspension, a firing, some other sort of temporary leave or status for the police chief? >> i think it's fair to say that yesterday the city commission took a vote, as you pointed out. that's something i take very seriously. >> bonaparte failed to answer the questions about the stas us of police chief bill lee. not until later did he express sympathy for trayvon's family. he did say, what we want here is justice, but he said it with all the warmth of a bill collector. his coldness would be explained
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a few hours later when the policeman announced he is temporarily relieving himself of the position he held only for ten months. they failed to arrest the son of a tenant who attacked a black homeless man even after being given a video of the december 10 beatdown. the state attorney who had been in charge of the case was replaced by a special prosecutor appointed by florida governor rick scott and the attorney general. scott created a task force to review the stand your ground law. that's the insane 2005 statute that zimmerman used to get out of jail. president obama wouldn't get into the specifics of this law when he was asked about it today in the rose garden, but he did say that every aspect of this case should be investigated, and he did extend his sympathies to trayvon's parents with undeniable emotion. >> my main message is to the
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parents of trayvon martin. if i had a son, he would look like trayvon. >> but the number one question on my mind, and no doubt that of the president's, is every fair and right-thinking american who believes in justice, why isn't george zimmerman in jail? that he has not spoken through the disturbing presence of the police department through the young life he snuffed out. that bonaparte can't even emit some outrage? the life of a black man ain't worth a damn. matt? >> jonathan, another powerful commentary. your leadership in articulating through the media the rage and frustration over this has been terrific. one question i want to ask you. i was mesmerized by obama's remarks today, and i was struck that as our first african-american president, he
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had to experience growing up all the things you talked about so moving and powerfully of your own youth in terms of the things a young black man is told, not to get himself in trouble in a world he would be viewed as suspicious. president obama faces all the strengths a president faces not to go there, yet it's got to be shooting through his mind. how did you reflect on that? >> i thought it was a very powerful moment. let's think about this. there is the president of the united states who happens to be african-american. they're in the rose garden to make the announcement of the new rose bank. he makes a statement about this horrific incident. we all have a sense of what he might be thinking and feeling, but when asked the question, his answer was pitch perfect. it was the right thing you wanted to hear, the right thing from a leader. >> we're going to have to leave it there. i know we'll be back with jonathan capehart. thanks for your great work on this. it's been an honor to keep


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